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The Shambles Affected by The Licensing Act 2003 (439* d) RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003 04 Apr 07

I am not sure about any red tape being busted here - but the attempt to make further restrictions of personal freedom and spin it as such - certainly makes me see red.

There is no mention in the following article, that the need for this red tape, that is supposedly being busted, was imposed in the first place by the DCMS in the recent Licensing reform - in the licensing Act 2003. No wonder these LA attempts to bail them out - are praised by the DCMS

What concerns me the most, is that by moving from the legislation's constraints place on them, of simply issuing licenses for these open spaces, to the position of being the licensee of these spaces - the council's officers can now prevent and restrict anything from taking place. For a licensee does not have to explain to anyone why they may not wish to stage a certain activity - as it is accepted that this is a matter for them.

Front page of the Dorset Echo April 3 2007 (no not April the 1st).


Borough praised for simplifying system of licenses
By Laura Kitching

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is being hailed as a national example for open air entertainment after council bosses cut through red tape.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council was one of the first in the country to join the Register of Licensed Public Spaces in England and Wales to allow events to take place.

The council set the trend by licensing 19 public spaces and venues for entertainment.

Now the Government is hailing the borough as one of the best in the country for its trailblazing work and urged other councils to follow its lead.

The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has recognised the council for licensing a wide range of spaces - especially the beach and Esplanade area - to encourage events such as the world youth sailing championship, folk festival, youth beach sports festival and beach volleyball.

The success comes amid pleas for Weymouth to encourage café culture and take advantage of the Olympic sailing events to boost its image and local economy.

Licensing committee chairman, Coun David Manning, said: "It is good. We were one of the first in the country to do it and it is hoped that by effectively cutting the red tape events organisers and individuals looking for event ventures will be attracted to Weymouth and Portland.

"It means that the beaches and places like that can have the events on them without having the problem of getting individual licences. It's making the whole space much more usable for local people."

Coun Manning added: added; "We want to attract people now, not just for the Olympics in 2012."

The DCMS is pointing to Weymouth and Portland as a good example of a council which is enabling its community to partake or organise cultural, sport and other such licensable activities.

The council is now among more than 100 councils listed on the Register of Licensed Public Spaces in England and Wales. Its aim is to provide event organisers and entertainers with a list of places that can readily hold outdoor attractions.

In the borough, Wyke Regis Gardens and Easton Gardens are licensed from 10am-8pm and 17 other places are licensed from 10am.

They include Chiswell and West Weares, Custom House Quay, Greenhill Gardens, Hope Square, Lodmoor Country Park, Nothe Gardens, Princess of Wales Memorial Gardens, Southwell, Underhedge Gardens, Sutton Road, The town centre, Victoria Gardens, Weymouth pavilion forecourt, and most of the beach and promenade from the pavilion to the bandstand.

Borough council licensing officer Sue King said: "The licenses cover plays, live music, recorded music, wrestling and boxing - any sort of entertainment.

"To hold an event applicants will need to contact the council for permission and application forms.

"Things like busking would probably be nodded through, and for charities we probably wouldn't
ENDs (at this point).

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